Rare Exports is one of those rare imports, an anti-Christmas movie that works on multiple levels. After waiting in vain for Netflix to stream it, I found it on sale at Best Buy and watched it last night. This creepy holiday movie grew from a couple of short films that went viral a few years back (included in the DVD extras). It has a touch of dark humor that elevates it above most horror flicks, and it’s subtitled for those who don’t speak Finnish. (What, you don’t speak Finnish?)
There are a few great bits in it, including a bear trap at the bottom of a chimney to ward off Father Christmas, an advent calandar with a nasty surprise and an exhaustive Santa-training regime. I only wish someone had warned me about the army of naked old men.
Gone is the child-friendly version of Santa Claus manufactured by Coca-Cola, replaced by the ancient legend of Sinterklaas. This movie takes the pre-Christian figure that frightened kids into behaving and builds upon that mythology. In that way it reminded me a lot of my novel, The Wild Hunt (of course in that book I call him The Lord of the Hunt).
I’ll certainly pop this in and watch it again next Christmas. Perhaps I’ll even incorporate it into my annual traditions, like re-reading A Christmas Carol each December 24th. Be sure to pick up Rare Exports if you’re looking to have a merry, scary Christmas.